Former Germantown Academy teacher charged with student sex crimes

FORT WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A former Germantown Academy Latin teacher is facing charges connected to an alleged sexual relationship he had with a former student, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

Michael Cheatle, 37, of Chester Springs, faces charges of institutional sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

According to an arrest affidavit, the student came forward to police in July but the relationship began in 2014 when she was a junior at Germantown Academy.

The relationship lasted 18 months and ended in 2015. The accuser told authorities they would meet on and off campus.

According to the arrest affidavit, in September, investigators met with Cheatle who they say admitted to the relationship. He also willingly showed authorities his tattoos after the accuser described where they were on his body.

After meeting with police, Cheatle resigned from his teaching position.

On Thursday, Paul Mallis, an attorney representing Cheatle said they look forward to their day in court.

"There are specific points of contention that we have regarding the affidavit...out of respect for my client and this case I'm not in a position where I'm going to comment on that at this time," he said.

Also on Thursday, Attorney David Caputo, who represents the accuser, added there is a second former student also making allegations.

The statement read in part,"... the firm also represents another individual who, as a student at Germantown Academy was a victim of Mr. Cheatle's inappropriate behavior."

The District Attorney's Office said in response, at this time, there is only one victim within this criminal complaint but they urge other possible victims to come forward.

A statement released to parents at Germantown Academy said in part, "Germantown Academy has fully cooperated with the Whitemarsh Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office in their investigation. Our highest duty is to maintain a safe learning environment for our students. While the police investigation resulted in charges related to one former student, the school and our Board of Trustees have launched a full review of these matters to ensure we are taking all necessary steps to protect our students. Germantown Academy has engaged a law firm with significant experience this area to conduct an independent investigation."
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